As semesters across the country draw to an end, one has to question why it is that we are required to take finals. There are two ways to look at this question.
The first is to consider that by the time finals roll around, a whole semester worth of work should have been completed. This must show that the student is educated and dedicated to the material that has been covered.
The second point is that a final provides proof that there is an understanding of the material that has been covered, and thusly has been retained by each student.
This brings me to my point; if we have finals to prove an understanding of specific material, why then can that final not be used to prove an understanding at the beginning of a class. This means that just as a student can place out of lower level foreign language classes in college, a student would be able to place out of lower level required classes for graduation. Essentially a student would be able to register for a class, test on the material, and if the score of the test was at least a B average, the student would then receive credit for the class.
This whole concept can be seen by the number of students that slide through their classes until exams, and then pass the exam with flying colors. This, to me, is proof that higher education is arbitrary simply because some students pass their classes based on the fact that they receive their effort grades for the amount of work turned in, but a student can fail a class by turning in little to no work and yet shows a complete understanding of the material on the exam.
I feel that education should be based on what a student knows and learns, to force a student to sit through a class of information that they already know is ridiculous; and therefore should be subject for review by the people paying for the education… THE STUDENTS!